Thursday, January 8, 2015

Je Suis Charlotte

Every day I cherish the act of writing freely about what I believe. While I often fear causing offense, I try my best to stand up to that fear and express myself honestly. Like Charlie Hebdo, I believe we must refuse to succumb to fear.

          I enjoy irreverent laughter and political satire. At the same time, I also find Charlie Hebdo's obscene depictions of Prophet Mohammed extremely offensive, hateful, and deliberately provocative towards a much wider audience than the (presumably) intended target of their political satire, the fundamentalists. I am offended in a similar way by the propaganda of white supremacists, Nazis, homophobes, and their ilk. Are they entitled to their beliefs? Yes. Am I a white supremacist, an antisemite, or a homophobe? No. And I'm not an Islamophobe, either.

          To that end, je ne suis pas Charlie.

          I stand in solidarity with everyone who values free expression and abhors violence, and I join everyone who mourns all the precious lives that were violently taken yesterday. But I am appalled by the defamatory cartoons, which I consider to be a generic hate crime against Islam and Arabs.

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